Beliefs and Creeds
by members of Bay Ridge United Methodist Church
I believe in one God, a powerful force of the universe, which is love, and in Jesus Christ, who was born to teach us the way God wants us to live. The world could not accept what Christ preached so it crucified him. He rose from the dead so we would know of him. I believe this faith should be expressed in love to others so that the kingdom of God may be fulfilled here and now. The Kingdom of God would be a place of equality and freedom.
I believe in a loving God who made the universe and everything in it to be good and beautiful. I believe that Jesus was both divine and human, commissioned by God to correct our ideas about God and to be a tangible demonstration of God’s loving power. I believe we are made in God’s image and that the spirit of God resides in our souls. I believe that all are created equal and that God’s power will fill us as we increase our ability to love one another and ourselves, caring for the well being of all and wishing no one harm. I believe that God speaks to us in many ways and we enter into partnership with Him through prayer, meditation, relationship and action. I believe that in fellowship, the people who are seeking to do God’s will find support to bring about change in the world.
I believe that when the historic Jesus appeared on earth, He was an incredibly evolved Soul, whose mission in coming here was to teach us – by His example – the nature of our own divinity. While healing the sick and restoring life in ways that appear miraculous, Jesus saw himself as one who had fully developed His inherent human essence and had been sent by the Father to show us here on earth how to develop our own. In fact, His conviction about our human potential was evident when he told his disciples that they would perform even greater feats.
In teaching us how to interact with one another, Jesus defined what I call the “Divine Interconnection” when he said of our relationship: “Inasmuch as you have done it to the least of these, My Brethren, you have done it unto Me.” If indeed we are all connected to Jesus in the way, must we not also be intrinsically connected to each other?
I believe that when Jesus advised his disciples to “Love on another as I have loved you”, He meant for us to interact by seeking others well being in all transactions – to the same extent we seek our own well being. I believe this was His prescription for bringing forth the Kingdom of God on earth, and that this Kingdom will steadily emerge as people increasingly choose to implement the Divine Interconnection He exemplified by His humanity.
We believe in God, the Father Almighty, the source of all Goodness and Truth. We believe in Jesus Christ, His Son our Lord, our Teacher and Example. We believe in the Holy Spirit, our Guide and Strength. We believe in the kingdom of heaven on earth, and the means to attain it. We believe in the Church as our fellowship that unites us in the service of the Lord. We believe in the commandment to love one another as Christ loves us. We believe in doing good for the “least of these”, as Christ has done. We believe that faith should manifest itself by helping others as set forth by Christ’s leadership.
The Bay Ridge United Methodist Congregation
By Rev. Robert Emerick, Pastor
WHO WE ARE:
We are a community of individuals who embrace God’s love for us, God’s love within us, God’s love among us, and God’s love through us, as Jesus taught us.
WHAT WE BELIEVE:
Jesus’ teaching and example express God’s Way for human life.
The core of Jesus’ teaching is to strive to make Heaven on Earth by loving as Jesus loved.
The Divine Love that Jesus lived and taught lives in our Soul, the image of God within all people. Divine Love is respectful. Because it is the presence of God in all of us, the Soul never dies.
Divine Love creates a profound commitment to the physical, social, psychological, and spiritual well being of ALL people. This means caring and acting for human welfare, animal welfare, and the welfare of the earth, which supplies our food, air, and water. God’s Way of Life produces equality of rights, liberty, and opportunity; economic and political justice; and dignity for ALL.
God’s Spirit works within people, to transform us, all of our institutions (including the Church), and the entire world. Jesus calls us to work and pray for this transformation.
Spirituality is the development of the mind and heart of Christ within us – practicing Jesus’ Way of Love as God’s Way of Life.
WHAT WE DO:
Because we want to express God’s will in our words and actions, we use ourselves and our resources to teach and live Jesus’ Way of Love as God’s Way of Life – to make Heaven on Earth.